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Why we fabricated lies to end Jonathan’s Government – Ex-APC Spokesperson, Timi Frank

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Why we fabricated lies to end Jonathan’s Government - Ex-APC Spokesperson, Timi Frank
Former deputy national secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank has called on imams, pastors and traditional rulers to beg former President Goodluck Jonathan for forgiveness as he revealed how he alongside others fabricated lies to sabotage his government.
Lamenting over the insecurity witnessed across the country, the former APC spokesperson disclosed that he has personally asked the former Nigerian leader for forgiveness.
“I call on Nigerians that we should beg former President Goodluck Jonathan for wrongly voted him out and sabotaged his government. I must confess that as an APC figure in 2015, we fabricated many lies against Jonathan, though I have publicly apologised to him but other Nigerians, especially the pastors, Imams, traditional rulers and other opinion leaders should beg for forgiveness too,” he said.
“It is obvious now that insecurity in our nation has gone out of hand. The challenge was limited to a zone under Goodluck Jonathan but presently no state, including General Buhari’s home state is secured.”
Questioning the Buhari-led government on the whereabouts of the $1 billion withdrawn from the excess crude account (ECA) to fight insecurity, Timi Frank admitted the entrenchment of democracy and rule of law in Jonathan’s administration.
“Under Jonathan, Nigerians abroad were relocating back home but under Buhari Nigerians are running away. Under Jonathan Nigerians are respected all over the world but that has since gone under Buhari.
“Under Jonathan Nigerians were crying in tears but now Nigerians are crying in blood. Under Jonathan, there was freedom of speech but that has long gone under the APC administration.
“Under Jonathan, poverty, hunger and unemployment were not as bad as it is today. Under Jonathan Nigeria was a unitedunited Nation but sentiments have taken over now.
“As it is now, all the institutions of government that were working well under Jonathan have all been blackmailed and politicised.
“So, I call on others who betrayed Jonathan to come out publicly and apologise to him. I also use this opportunity to appeal to former President Jonathan to forgive Nigerians and bless the Nation against the evils that have pervaded the land” he added.

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Punch Newspaper to refer to President Buhari as General Buhari [FULL REPORT]

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Punch Newspaper to refer to President Buhari as General Buhari

A Nigerian Newspaper, Punch has shared its opinion on the alleged lawlessness witnessed in President Buhari’s administration, giving notice of their stand.

In a notice titled “Buhari’s lawlessness: Our Stand”, Punch stated that it will “henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s ‘Major General’ and refer to his administration as a regime until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.”

 

Punch Newspaper reiterated that it will not adopt the self-defeating attitude of many Nigerians looking the other way after each violation of rights and attacks on the citizens, the courts, the press and civic society, including self-determination groups lawfully exercising their inalienable rights to peaceful dissent.

 

It alleged that this administration’s actions and assaults on the courts, disobedience of court orders and arbitrary detention of citizens reflect its true character of the martial culture. The SSS and Police were called out by Punch who also accused the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed of vigorously pressing for anti-hate speech laws to restrict social media even after being harassed by the SSS and accused of “loitering” in 2014.

 

The notice from Punch Newspaper reads in full;

“As a symbolic demonstration of our protest against autocracy and military-style repression, PUNCH (all our print newspapers, The PUNCH, Saturday PUNCH, Sunday PUNCH, PUNCH Sports Extra, and digital platforms, most especially Punchng.com) will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s, Major General, and refer to his administration as a regime, until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.”

The entire country and a global audience are rightly scandalised by the unfolding saga over Omoyele Sowore and the unruliness of the SSS and the government; but it is only a pattern, a reflection of the serial disregard of the Buhari regime for human rights and its battering of other arms of government and our democratic institutions. PUNCH views this tendency and its recent escalation with serious concern, knowing as the great thinker, Edmund Burke, said that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Nigeria had trod a path, a veritable obstacle course, where repression, especially under military jackboots, was a malignant presence and this attracted heroic resistance by ordinary people, civil society groups and the press. But Nigerians have lately become lethargic, divided by ethnic and sectarian sentiments and weakened by widespread poverty brought on by a rapacious political class and bad governance.

PUNCH will not adopt the self-defeating attitude of many Nigerians looking the other way after each violation of rights and attacks on the citizens, the courts, the press and civic society, including self-determination groups lawfully exercising their inalienable rights to peaceful dissent. This regime’s actions and assaults on the courts, disobedience of court orders and arbitrary detention of citizens reflect its true character of the martial culture. Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) ran a ham-fisted military junta in 1984/85 and old habits obviously run deep.  Until he and his repressive regime purge themselves of their martial tendency therefore, PUNCH will not be a party to falsely adorning it with a democratic robe, hence our decision to label it for what it is – an autocratic military-style regime run by Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).

Sowore’s travails are symptomatic: having ignored court orders granting him bail, the SSS, after much pressure following 125 days in captivity, released him only to stage a GESTAPO-style raid on the court where the journalist was standing trial. The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim el-Zakzakky and his wife have spent over three years in detention in violation of court orders granting them bail and ordering their release. A former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, has been held in detention since 2015 in defiance of several court orders, including one by the ECOWAS appellate court that declared his continued incarceration illegal. Under Buhari, the SSS has become a monstrous and repressive secret police, acting often with impunity. Buhari bears responsibility for the state of repression because, as president, he can stop it today.

But the SSS is not alone. The Nigeria Police, whose notoriety predates Buhari’s second coming, has continued its serial abuse of human rights and is ever available to officials who routinely deploy police officers from the mundane abuse of sirens in traffic to arbitrary arrest and torture of victims. The police and military fail to understand that peaceful agitation and the right to associate are fundamental rights.

This situation is eerily familiar: as military head of state, Buhari’s appointee who headed the National Security Organisation, as the SSS was then known, Lawal Rafindadi, unleashed a reign of terror on Nigerians, featuring arbitrary arrests and torture in cells described by inmates as chambers of horror. Under the infamous Decree 2, agents had pre-signed detention papers, court orders were ignored and ouster clauses were inserted in decrees, while the press was specifically targeted with the infamous Decree 4 under which Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor were jailed.

Returning as an elected president, Buhari has followed the same template, appointing Lawal Daura as Director-General of the SSS, who re-enacted the Rafindadi playbook by his treatment of Dasuki and el-Zakzakky, among others, raided the homes of judges and twice deployed armed SSS heavies to foil the arrest of two former security chiefs by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Nigerian Navy authorities similarly ignored court orders to release Navy Captain Dada Labinjo, who they detained for over a year until his recent release on bail; Nigerian Army too detains suspects interminably on the grounds of being terrorism suspects.

Some governors have borrowed from this nefarious model, deploying security agents and perverting the law to punish critics and journalists. Critics, Dadiyata Idris and Stephen Kefas, have been arrested and arraigned. Agba Jalingo is facing a treason charge for offending the Cross River State Government. Jones Abiri, a local publisher in Bayelsa State, has been charged with terrorism while, in Delta State, two journalists are facing criminal defamation charges.

The regime’s Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, forgetting how, as opposition spokesman in 2014, he was harassed by the SSS and accused of “loitering,” has been vigorously pressing for anti-hate speech laws to restrict the social media. Abdullahi Sabi, a senator, along with others, has re-presented a hate-speech bill: their sole purpose is to insulate officials from criticism and compel unquestioned acceptance of Buhari’s draconian misrule.

Under the law, suspects cannot be held beyond 48 hours except by a court order. But the regime observes this in the breach. Yet, Nigeria is a signatory to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and other treaties guaranteeing fundamental rights. The 1999 Constitution also spells out basic rights. But the regime chooses which rights or court orders to respect or obey. This is unacceptable. Critical segments of the society have been assaulted, silenced or compromised. It is time, as a Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has strongly advocated, for civil society to rejuvenate itself and send the message to Buhari to “rein in his wild dogs of disobedience.” From the United States has come a message from the Department of State, two senators and Congress telling the Buhari regime to stop its shocking affront to the rule of law, reminding the General that “respect for the rule of law, judicial independence, political and media freedom, and due process are key tenets of democracy.”

Nigeria has had more than its fair share of draconian rulers, whether in military or civil garb, but none has succeeded in breaking our resilience and irrepressible spirit. This regime will not prove to be an exception. Nigeria, and Nigerians, will overcome. The strong desire of our people to enjoy the unfettered freedoms guaranteed by the constitution and the rule of law, including the freedom to speak freely and assemble peacefully, will again outlive, outlast and crush the spirit of despotism.

Buhari can still redeem himself and his out-of-control security agents and reclaim his past facade of tolerance. When Daura brazenly inserted himself in politics by recklessly sending armed masked SSS enforcers to besiege the National Assembly, as acting President, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo promptly sacked him and had him arrested. Buhari should similarly distance himself and his regime from the lawlessness and impunity of the current SSS DG, Yusuf Bichi, by dismissing him, ordering the release of all victims of illegal detention and compelling obedience to court orders. The SSS has not been efficient in the war against terror; it should perform its primary duty to safeguard the country. As a product of statute, its loyalty should be to the country, not to temporary occupiers of public office.

The regime’s repression cannot succeed but will further polarise the society and weaken national cohesion.  The Nigerian Bar Association has vowed to defend the sanctity of judicial authority, while Soyinka has warned that disregard for court orders could beget desperation and civil disobedience. Nigerians need to stop their supine acquiescence to oppression and learn to stand up for their rights as many are doing around the world, using all peaceful and legal means, including the right to protest and of peaceful assembly. It is Dasuki, el-Zakzakky, Sowore and others today, who knows who is next if repression is not resisted?

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Final year law student raped and stabbed to death

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Final year law student raped and stabbed to death

A final year student in the Rivers State University has been stabbed to death in her apartment in Port Harcourt.

The victim,  Matilda Itonyo Mark was a student of the Law Department. She was said to have been raped and subsequently stabbed by her assailants inside her apartment close to Eagle Island.

24-year old Matilda’s body was found in her pool of blood.

An ambulance accompanied by security personnel was sighted at the scene of the incident, taking the corpse away from the scene.

The Rivers state Police Command and the Management of the Rivers State University were yet to react to the incident at the time of this report.

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Sacked Rufus Giwa Poly staff reject reinstatement

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Sacked Rufus Giwa Poly staff reject reinstatement

The sacked workers of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, who were recently reinstated by the state government rejected the government’s gesture.

The 59 workers, who were teachers at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Staff Primary and Secondary School, were sacked on the grounds that the management had no financial capacity to run the schools any longer and planned to privatise them.

The Chairman of the Governing Council of the institution had last week, during a meeting with the representatives of the institution’s chapter of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, disclosed that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had ordered that the disengaged workers be reabsorbed into the civil service.

But the affected workers, in a letter to the governor, rejected the government’s plan.

The letter sent to the governor, through their lawyer, Mr Banjo Ayenakin, read,

“While our clients appreciate the gesture and interest of the Ondo State governor, the planned redeployment or transfer of service is clearly unacceptable to our clients.

“To put the record straight, our clients were employed by RUGIPOLY at different times; they had their appointments regularised and confirmed by the governing council of the institution. Our clients were subsequently promoted by virtue of their commitment, industry and hard work to the institution.

“It was a rude shock when our clients were given mass retrenchment or disengagement under the guise that the schools were not yielding enough revenue and that the management intended to privatise the institution.”

 

It added, “The offer to redeploy or transfer our clients to the Ondo State Teaching Service Commission is contrary to the conditions of appointment of our client and the said redeployment is a ploy to demote our clients and subject them to psychological trauma.

“It must be noted that the conditions of employment of our clients; among which are grade level and year of retirement in the two services are different. While the non-teaching staff of RUGIPOLY retires at age 65; those of the teaching service commission retire at 60.”

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Boko Haram posts video showing execution of soldiers and policeman

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Boko Haram posts video showing execution of soldiers and policeman

Boko Haram has released a video showing the execution of two soldiers and a policeman, posted online late Monday by the Islamic State group (IS) propaganda agency Amaq.

The video, dated Sunday, was made by a branch of Boko Haram that has sworn allegiance to IS known as the Islamic State Group in West Africa (ISWAP). The Boko Haram video release came days after the militants announced the kidnapping of 14 people including two aid workers and, according to the jihadists, six members of the security forces.

It shows three men in plainclothes kneeling in a field, introducing themselves as members of the Nigerian security forces before masked men in fatigues open fire on them shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest). “We tell the Nigerian army that we will never spare those fighting against the people who follow Allah’s religion,” one of the executioners said in Hausa, a language widely spoken in the north of the country.

“We will attack your bases and confront you on your routes,” the militant added, shortly before the execution. One of the three victims introduced himself as a police sergeant, saying the jihadists had “captured” him when he was on his way to Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state. Those abducted last Wednesday included two Red Cross workers. ISWAP claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, saying six members of the Nigerian security forces were among the hostages.

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Islamic Police arrest 26 cross-dressers in Kano

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Islamic Police arrest 26 cross-dressers in Kano

The Deputy Commander of the Islamic Police in Kano State, Tasiu Ishaq on Sunday announced the arrest of 26 young men who were dressed as women.

He said “It is a shame that men and good citizens can put up such behaviour and act like women,” he said. Ishaq said the men had been “preached to” about the spiritual consequences of their actions and would be released to their parents. One of the men said a friend had invited him to the party.

“They have preached to us and we have prayed since they arrested us. I regret what happened and I will stop this behaviour by God’s grace,” he said. Kano is one of the states in northern Nigeria that enforces Sharia, Islamic religious law, which has been in place since 2001. The Islamic police officers are mandated to arrest people “for actions that are contrary to Islamic laws.”

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Sowore’s Rearrest: House of Reps directs committees to investigate court invasion

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Sowore's Rearrest: House of Reps directs committees to investigate

The House of Representatives is now set to investigate the events surrounding the rearrest of the founder of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore in the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The House of Reps has directed the relevant house committees to investigate the incidence after a motion was moved by Minority Leader, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta).

The motion was moved under Matters of Urgent Public Importance at the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila on Tuesday.

The committees are National Security and Intelligence, Judiciary, and Human Rights.

Elumelu said the investigation was on the “invasion of the Federal High Court premises Abuja by yet to be identified persons”.

He described the invasion of the court by unidentified persons as “disregard for the rule of law”.

 

He expressed concern that “men of the civil society” claimed that the unidentified masked men were agents of the Department of the State Services (DSS).

“The DSS has denied through their spokesman Peter Afunanya that its personnel were never involved in the incident.

“Sections 4, 5 and 6 of the 1999 Constitution as amended guarantees the separation of powers and the independence of every arm of government.

The lawmaker also expressed worry that the “act of the persons disrupted judicial proceedings and made the presiding judge to abandon her duty post because of safety concerns.

“This is a complete desecration of the temple of justice and such an action should be completely discouraged”.

He said that if the action was not properly checked, the National Assembly “may one day be invaded and the relevant security agencies will claim not knowing who the offenders are.”

He also said that the physical assault on Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare by the yet-to-be-identified persons inside the courtroom was the “highest act of sacrilege” in the judiciary.

The House of Reps, however, directed the committees investigating to report back within two weeks, NAN reports.

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“Forgive me”, Fayose cries out to aggrieved PDP members in Ekiti

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"Forgive me", Fayose crries out to aggrieved PDP members

Former governor of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, on Tuesday, sought forgiveness from aggrieved members of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to NAN, Fayose pleaded with members who may be aggrieved by any of his actions in the past to forgive him in his Afao-Ekiti home during a peace meeting he convened with party members in the state.

The former governor apologised to all aggrieved members who he said he might have wronged while in government.

He said the PDP must be repositioned ahead of future elections in the state, adding that nothing should be too much a sacrifice for anyone to make.

“We are on a mission to reposition the party because truly we need a new attitude as members of this party, “he said.

“We must tell ourselves the truth that there is nothing to share in failure and we must join hands to achieve something tangible.

“I know some persons are aggrieved and I know we are humans. I apologise to all those that I have offended.

“Let us come together in unity for this our party not to die in this state. That is my priority as the leader.

“I am doing this after one year of leaving office just to allow the present All Progressives Congress (APC) to display what they have for the people and you can all see for yourselves.

“I am not here for my selfish interest but just to ensure this party does not fail.”

The former governor, who used the meeting to officially congratulate Biodun Olujimi on her victory as the lawmaker representing Ekiti-south senatorial district, noted that she remained a leader of the party in the state.

“Everybody should come back to the party. I am open to reconciliation,” he said.

“If Senator Biodun Olujimi calls you for meeting tomorrow, go there and listen to her. All of us are leaders, don’t let us factionalise this party.

“I am congratulating her and I don’t have any issue with her and I am sorry for what happened in the past.”

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Bayelsa Government House burgled, N3.5M carted away

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Bayelsa Government House burgled, N3.5M carted away

Burglars who attacked the Bayelsa State Government House in Yenagoa made away with the sum of N3.5million on Tuesday, December 10th.

The money was carted away by the burglars who broke into the office of Mrs Ebizi Ndiomu-Brown, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor.

Ndiomu-Brown in a phone conversation said that her office was indeed burgled and the sum of N3.5million was carted away not the sum of N40 million as reported by some media.

 

Responding to the question on if she suspects anyone, says she has no ready suspect in mind, as it could be anyone and she waits the outcome of the Police investigation.

Ndiomu-Brown is currently on an official assignment outside Bayelsa State.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Asinim Butswat, said the office was indeed burgled and the sum of N3.5million stolen.

He said the main entrance door to her office was broken and the safe inside the office, destroyed.

The police spokesman said three policemen and four personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and one maintenance staff on duty at the Governor’s Office, were initially arrested and interrogated at the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation department in connection to the attack.

He added that they have all been released based on their statements and the four NSCDC officials have resumed duty at the Government House.

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How Final year Law student was raped and stabbed to death in Port Harcourt

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How Final year Law student was raped and stabbed to death in Port Harcourt

A final year student of Law Department in the Rivers State University has been stabbed to death in her apartment in Port Harcourt, TOPNAIJA.NG reports.

The victim, who was identified as Matilda Itonyo Mark, was said to have been raped and subsequently stabbed by her assailants inside her apartment close to Eagle Island.

24-year old Matilda’s body was found in her pool of blood. An ambulance accompanied by security personnel was sighted at the scene of the incident, taking the corpse away from the scene.

Why we fabricated lies to end Jonathan’s Government - Ex-APC Spokesperson, Timi Frank

The Rivers state Police Command and the Management of the Rivers State University were yet to react to the incident as at the time of reporting this.

Friends of the deceased have already taken to social media to pen down tributes to her, as presented below.

Why we fabricated lies to end Jonathan’s Government - Ex-APC Spokesperson, Timi Frank

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Buhari appoints CBN Deputy Governor as new AMCON Chairman

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Buhari appoints new AMCON boss

Edward Adamu, deputy governor for corporate services at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has been appointed as the chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

The appointment which was made by President Muhammadu Buhari was announced in a letter sent to the senate by the president on Tuesday, December 10th.

The amended AMCON act that Buhari signed into law in August states that chairman of the corporation must be a CBN deputy governor.

The letter dated December 9 reads: “In accordance with Section 10(1) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Act, 2010, I hereby present Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu for confirmation as Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria by the Distinguished Senate.

“While hoping that this request will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the Senate, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

Edward replaces Muiz Banire as head of the corporation.

Banire was appointed in July 2018.

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